Pitcher, Please: Where to Get Sangría in Washington

Have a hankering for some wine-soaked fruit? Here’s a list of local spots that serve glasses and pitchers of sangría—that delicious Iberian concoction of wine, fruit, brandy, and whatever else the house feels like throwing in.

By: Peter Bryce

Casa Oaxaca
Glass $7, carafe $32, pitcher $38
Happy hour: None

The sangría here is sweet and juicy, an easy-to-drink cocktail to accompany Oaxaca’s traditional Mexican fare, and its sweetness isn’t overpowering. The Adams Morgan spot also serves an amazing Caipirinha, the Brazilian mixture of rum, sugar, and lime.

Chi-Cha Lounge
Glass $9, carafe $37
Happy hour: $4 glasses and $20 carafes Monday through Friday 5 to 8

A nontraditional sangría, this pink concoction is not for everybody. Missing are the chunks of fruit swimming on the top, and it seems to be heavy on the juice and very easy on the wine. There’s a spicy sweetness to this one that makes the flavor interesting at best, cloying at worst. The signature Chi Cha Morada kicks it up with cinnamon and other spices; the result is a drink that smells and tastes something like a Christmas fruitcake. You’re better off trying one of the bar’s tasty mojitos.

El Tamarindo
Glass $6.99, pitcher $25.99
Happy hour: None for sangría

This Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant on the edge of Adams Morgan kicks up its red and white sangrías with a generous amount of tequila. Served in a deep-bottomed wineglass, this sangría packs a punch. One or two glasses will have you toasting your friends and loudly ordering another (perhaps ill-advised) pitcher.

Jaleo

Glass $7, pitcher $28
Happy hour: Glasses $4 Monday through Friday 5 to 7

A solid but unspectacular blend of classic ingredients makes for a pleasant companion to José Andrés’s tapas. The white sangría with Cava and strawberries is attractive—but not as tasty as the standard red, a simple offering that doesn’t try to do too much and ends up giving plenty of reason to ask for another glass. Other locations in Bethesda and Crystal City.

La Tasca
Glass $6 to $7.50, pitcher $22 to $28
Happy hour: $3.50 glasses and $15 pitchers every day from 4 to 7

Sangría is one of La Tasca’s biggest draws; it’s got a list of ten options to choose from. Many of the glasses tend to the watered-down side, but there are some finds on the menu. The Sangría La Tasca, spiced with cinnamon, is flavorful and dry, while the Cadillac Sangría is Tasca’s best: traditional sangría with a solid wine behind it.

Rosa Mexicano
Glass $11 to $17, pitcher $25 to $40
Happy hour: None  

This Mexican dining room in Penn Quarter offers lots of sangría options. The traditional red and white varieties are laced with mangos, cucumbers, and apples. The restaurant’s namesake concoction—Sangría de Rosa Mexicano—is infused with apricot and citrus flavors, while the Sangría Especial mixes vanilla with clementine vodka and a dry rosé. You can order the drink by the glass or pitcher and pair it with the restaurant’s most popular appetizer, guacamole made tableside.

Taberna del Alabardero
Glass $7, pitcher $28
Happy hour: Glasses and pitchers half price weekdays 3 to 7

Taberna, one of Washington’s finest restaurants, does sangría right. Good wine (red or white) blends with brandy, triple sec, fresh fruit, and a few extra ingredients that the bar isn’t willing to divulge. The result is a classic Spanish punch, dry and not overly fruity, with a simple taste that goes perfectly with tapas and paella. The happy hour, which also offers half-price tapas, is one of Washington’s best bargains.

Zengo
Glass $10, no pitchers
Happy hour: None

The Latin-Asian influences of this Penn Quarter dining room converge at the bar in sake sangría. The drink is made with red wine, sake, brandied Asian pears, and Fuji apples. 

Where's your favorite spot for sangría? Tell us in the comments!